Over the past year or so, the EPA has begun funding a new effort to speed up and prioritize Puget Sound recovery. A coalition of state agencies and other partners is developing a series of plans known as Implementation Strategies that take on some of the practical considerations and next steps for the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda.
We wrote about this last year in our magazine Salish Sea Currents, and have continued a series of stories about some of the science driving the process. We’ll be writing more stories in the coming year with funding from the EPA, and Puget Sound Institute scientists are among those collaborating in the overall effort.
In a sense, the Implementation Strategies are a prescription for Puget Sound health. While there are still many unknowns, scientists say we now understand — at least to some degree — many of the major problems facing the region. Those are being monitored as so-called “Vital Signs” established by the state, and range from the health of endangered orcas to water quality and human wellbeing. Knowing where to prioritize recovery efforts is a huge step forward, agencies and partners say. Now these groups want to apply the medicine where they can.
The leaders of the new Implementation Strategies include several state agencies. Among them are the Department of Ecology, the Department of Health, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. The Puget Sound Partnership continues its role as a facilitator and organizer in the process, and other partners include regional tribes, the Puget Sound Federal Task Force and a variety of stakeholders and nonprofits.
If you want to get a better handle on just what the Implementation Strategies are and who is behind them, we recommend visiting the coalition’s new website at https://pugetsoundestuary.wa.gov/. The site launched earlier this month, and will include regular updates including blogs detailing the latest steps in the process.
The site’s most recent blog post is a great overview of the process and describes many of the priorities for the group over the next four years.